I will tell you, Miss and Mr. Cassette would eat a lot more ice cream if it was made the way they used to make it and if the ice cream shops could look like this again. (eCreamery is pretty darn cute though). I just love the look of this little art deco shop. Everything single element of the design makes me want ice cream and makes me feel like life is good. Featured in this photo is a Reed’s shop clerk dressed in a darling dress. It might be an apron. A sweet auntie. I can’t say for sure. The signs in the window read “Frozen Orange Freeze 15 cents” and “Frozen Lime Freeze 15 cents”. Apparently Reed’s Ice Cream Company opened their Omaha plant in 1929. They did quite the job of marketing themselves, by building 63 (63?!!) neighborhood bungalows and drive-in ice cream shops around town. Omaha wasn’t that big at the time so I am sure people made the Starbucks-on-every-corner type joke about Reed’s back then. Reed Ice Cream Company sold five cent ice cream cones throughout Omaha and Council Bluffs at the rate of about 22,000 cones a day. So yes, that Starbucks similitude is right on and location is everything. From an Omaha World Herald article, “After he closed the store in 1959, Mr. Reed is credited with inventing a machine that would pressure-whip ice cream or yogurt together with various flavorings. He patented this machine and called it Whirl-a-Whip. The Whirl-a-Whip gave birth to what we call Blizzards today.”
Reed’s Ice Cream Shop. 4967 Dodge Street. 1936. (Photo courtesy of the Bostwick-Frohardt/KM3TV Photography Collection at The Durham Museum Photo Archive.)
(Photo courtesy of the Bostwick-Frohardt/KM3TV Photography Collection at The Durham Museum Photo Archive.)
The Reed’s Ice Cream Shop location is now a vape store. I’m not going to get into my thoughts on that one as I’ve never been there and I’m sure it’s pretty great if that’s your bag. I do think that the original Reed’s Ice Cream Shop could really compliment the new Dundee Theatre-Filmstreams venture going up just on the north side of Dodge. This was probably the thinking of the original ice cream shop being just south of the original Dundee Theatre. A delicious, sugarcone-fueled walk home from a flick sounds very good about now.
Caterpillar Vapes. 4967 Dodge Street. 2016
4967 Dodge has been many things to many people since the time of Reed’s. Most recently I remember it as Garage Guitars, which Mr. Cassette would occasionally frequent for strings in a pinch. But this was a while ago. I went into an obsessive moment recently and had to know what had happened to the old Reed’s and what 4967 had been over the years. Apparently four years after this original Reed’s photo was taken, this address became the Pig Parlor Restaurant. By 1954 it was Rudy Catania’s Beauty Shop. LOVE the name and imagery it conjures. I can see Rudy’s black wavy hair and the kind of lady clientele that might have surrounded him. By 1969 this location was the Lucile Duerr Beauty Shop. My all-time favorite listing was in 1977 when the bay became the Barn Door Plants and Gifts. I imagine the Barn Door to have been a real, rustic, hippie den with lots of macrame hanging planters and such. 1989 brought Dundee Auto Value Parts which does not pique Miss Cassette’s interest in quite the same way. By 1990 Church Organs of Omaha had moved into 4967 and was there into the 2000’s. The church organ store finally sounded familiar to me, not that I have ever entered a store like that. It sounds lovely now. In memory I can see the organs lined up as well as the vacuum store, eternally on that east most side, beloved Cecil’s Cafe and there was a vintage clothing store for a while in one of the bays and an art gallery for a short time.
Do you have any fond memories of this little strip of Dodge? Please share. Click on the title of this post to enable comments. Thanks, Omaha friends.